Across Texas, Cities Ramp Up Coronavirus Response

Dallas is offering mobile testing for health care workers and other at-risk groups. In El Paso, rumors of changes to border-crossing rules are on the rise.

By Jill AmentMarch 16, 2020 10:55 am, ,

Cities across Texas are ramping up their response to the coronavirus with testing and potential restrictions on cross-border travel. Some gathering places have essentially shut down, while others continue to draw travelers and entertainment-seekers.

Nic Garcia, a Dallas Morning News reporter who writes about Dallas County government says that packed crowds of travelers at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport have diminished from over the weekend. Passengers experienced long delays as a result of extra screenings associated with the coronavirus.

By Monday, Garcia says, the crowds at DFW Airport seen on social media feeds, had diminished. And Dallas Hobby Airport was relatively quiet.

“I can tell you, Love Field is basically a ghost town,” Garcia says. 

Angela Kocherga is news director of public radio station KTEP in El Paso. She said the city reported its first two coronavirus cases over the weekend.

“People are still going out, but we have the added issue of all students are on spring break,” she says. 

In San Antonio, the River Walk entertainment district continued to be busy, according to Texas Public Radio’s Joey Palacios. The Rio Cruises boats were still offering tours on Monday.

At HEB grocery stores in San Antonio, customers have been lining up before the store’s new 8 a.m. opening time to stock up on essentials needed for an extended period of home isolation. 

“HEB has put in these 8-to-8 hour restrictions so that way they can restock overnight,” Palacios says.

In El Paso, frequent travel across the border with Mexico has led to concerns about coronavirus spreading in the area. And there are concerns that Mexico could close the border with the United States.

“Mexico has taken the drastic action of shutting down all public schools across the country, starting today and through the Easter holiday,” she says. 

Parkland Hospital in Dallas will begin offering drive-through coronavirus testing for patients, first-responders and other health care workers who have a note from a Parkland physician can receive a test from this site. To learn whether you are eligible for a test in Dallas, call 214-590-8060.

The number of tests available in Texas remains limited. 


Written by Shelly Brisbin.